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You may have seen the before-and-after-lockdown photos of major cities that appear to show dramatic changes in air quality. In one, the India Gate war memorial in New Delhi is barely visible amid the smog. Then, during lockdown, it's clearly visible in its red Bharatpur stone grandness.

When discussing air quality, TVOC has always been the elephant in the room. Despite the importance of the topic, it seems that no one has done a great job explaining what it is and how it's measured, so we want to take a stab at it. Put on your seatbelt, because wrapping your head around TVOC can be a bit of a mental rollercoaster!

To begin our TVOC journey, let’s start off with a simple question: What is TVOC?

Our homes are designed to protect us from the outdoors, but bad indoor air quality can sometimes get in our way of healthy living. Because modern homes are sealed tight against outdoor elements, indoor air pollutants and substances emitted within our homes can’t escape. As a result, the air inside our homes is often more polluted than outdoor air (even up to 100x’s).

As a growing concern worldwide, we are beginning to recognize the critical role indoor air quality plays in our health and wellness. Understanding indoor air quality and the interplay between indoor pollutants and our bodies is the first step in improving and optimizing your air.

With this in mind, we created a guide that provides an overview of indoor air quality.

Jakarta, Indonesia, 9 July - Air pollution is linked to the loss of an estimated 24,000 lives in Delhi, India in the first half of 2020 despite a strict COVID-related lockdown, according to a new tool that uses live air quality data to track the cost of air pollution in real time. The counter, developed by Greenpeace Southeast Asia and IQAir AirVisual, reveals the impact of air pollution in 28 cities around the world since 1 January, 2020.1

Outdoor air pollution usually makes all the major air quality headlines. 

A flight is canceled to Delhi because smog is too dense.1 A red alert for outdoor air pollution is declared due to record levels of dangerous outdoor pollutants.2 And nearly 7 million people die prematurely each year from causes linked to air pollution, including heart disease and respiratory conditions.3

In comparison, air pollution in your home or office doesn’t seem like breaking news. 

Understanding the relationship between outdoor and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is your strongest weapon against its effects on your health. Your behavior and environment both influence the interaction between indoor and outdoor pollutants, so changing both your habits and your home is crucial to minimizing outdoor air pollution’s effect on indoor air.

With the advent of accurate and reliable low-cost air sensors, economically developing countries experiencing the detrimental human, environmental, and economic impacts of air pollution can establish comprehensive air quality monitoring networks for the first time. Air quality managers in these regions can bypass the traditional notion that air quality data must come exclusively from federal reference method (FRM) or federal equivalent method (FEM) equipment to be useful. Adopting hybrid Air Quality Monitoring 2.0 networks that leverage data from both FRM & FEM equipment and properly-calibrated low-cost sensors allows them to leverage the low costs, high-resolution data coverage, and flexible network design offered by low-cost air sensors to rapidly and cost-effectively establish precisely-located air quality monitoring networks.